Jul 29, 2011 5:00am EDT
rarity. there are examples in the museum in scotland, but they are highly desirable to collectors. we're talking about between £10,000 and 15,000. wow! i'd no idea it was worth that much. i wonder who used to sit in them when they were first made. so do i. they are some of the most eccentric chairs i've ever seen. do you know whether they've come out of a house in england or ireland? well, i have no knowledge, but i should guess ireland because my grandfather was irish and proud of it too, he always used to say. surprisingly enough, they are a celebration of love, because the scallop shell is the badge of venus, the goddess of love. i imagine that in spite of their rather small scale, they were originally intended to stand in some extraordinary architectural grotto somewhere. to be honest, the only time i've ever really seen this really wonderful eccentric carving and this very distinctive bold colour scheme of using the ebonising and the parcel gilding is actually on irish mirrors of the 1820s and 1830s. that's very interesting. what is interesting is their form is purely venetian.